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MK Dons 2 Gillingham 0: Gills manager Steve Evans critical of officials after penalty not given


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Gillingham manager Steve Evans admitted his side weren’t good enough on Saturday but blasted the assistant referee for a game-changing decision that went against them.

At 1-0 down the Gills were pushing for an equaliser and when Dominic Samuel was shoved in the box Evans and his management team were waiting for the referee to point to the spot. It looked like a penalty from the stands.

Dominic Samuel is pushed over in the MK penalty area Picture: Barry Goodwin (42744227)
Dominic Samuel is pushed over in the MK penalty area Picture: Barry Goodwin (42744227)

Referee Neil Hair was unsighted but the linesman, with a clear view of the incident, said no.

Evans was furious but he accepted his own team weren't up to scratch either.

After the match he said: “We were second best all over the pitch.

"We knew what to expect and when they bring Cameron Jerome in to play as a two (up top) you know what you are going to get, they have two experienced Championship strikers, they are going to cause you problems.

“They passed it and moved it better than we did. Goals always change games, we gave a goal away, we missed two easy chances and we had a clearest penalty ever seen not given. Their manager acknowledged it to me, it was a game-changer, instead of being 1-1 at half time it’s 1-0 and the next goal becomes crucial.

“The referee looked at his assistant referee for clear guidance. I can only assume he (the assistant) was looking at his shopping list, maybe his Christmas list, he wasn’t focussed. If he was focussed there was only one decision.

“The referee said the guidance was a handball against Gillingham.”

Gillingham had responded well to going behind during the second half of that opening period, with Graham seeing a lot of the ball on the left flank, but failed to make it count.

Jack Tucker battles for the ball Picture: Barry Goodwin
Jack Tucker battles for the ball Picture: Barry Goodwin

Evans said: (Graham) had 16 one one ones in the first half, against the full-back, he put zero crosses on my striker’s head. That tells you. Normally if he has 16 he would put 12 into the right mix, he didn’t do it.

“We missed some good chances, Oliver missed a chance at the back post at 2-0, if he scores with 10 to go it is a different game. I said it last week, against Oxford, goals change games.

“It is a tough league, we are trying to compete against some huge clubs with big money and MK Dons are one of them. MK signed Cameron Jerome and they have been trying to sign Will Grigg (from Sunderland) all week. We are in a different market and we have to go in and some days we will get a lesson like that.”

MK dominated the second half after doubling their lead early in the half.

Gillingham up against MK Dons in League 1 Picture: Barry Goodwin
Gillingham up against MK Dons in League 1 Picture: Barry Goodwin

Evans said: “First 25 (in the opening half) they were better than us, last 20 we were totally dominant, that is why you need to get the penalty given. When you are dominant you need to take the chances that are created.

“Second half was always going to be about who got the (next) goal. If we had it we would go on with some momentum and but they got it and they dominated momentum.

“They were better than us, they have an outstanding squad, we can’t afford the front two, Morris and Jerome, it’s an outstanding club. What do we do? We learn from it. They are young and we will be positive on Monday.”

More on the Gills;

Match report: MK Dons 2 Gillingham 0

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